Dee Black Presents “I Used To”

Baltimore-born artist Dee Black’s “I Used To” is a poignant song, plain and simple. A song about how hip-hop can save (and take away) one’s life, “IUT” speaks on how some of our favorites led him down a path of destructive behavior. In some ways, it’s like “When The Music Stops” without the Eminem/D12 funny moments. Instead, the narrative here is played straight and allows for the artist to speak on his situation and the situation of others like him.

I love the visuals for the song as well. Without giving anything away, they are potentially even more thought-provoking than the song. Images of classic artists are interspersed within the narrative being played out in the song.

Now, before you call “elitist,” know this: hip-hop isn’t a bad thing, nor does Black’s song place the blame for some of the destruction we’ve seen solely on hip-hop. It also doesn’t say anything like “Black people are the problem.” It acknowledges that “gangsta” rap is simply a product of the artist’s environment. You can’t–and should not–solely blame rap music solely for what happens in our communities. That said, we do have to admit that a reasonable chunk of rap focuses on destruction–whether it be of the self or another.

It’s commendable that he and many others want to change the narrative about rap and about Black people as a whole. We’re not all just spinning the block looking for opps and whatnot. The music has started to reflect that diversity in experience after a few years of most rap sounding similar. Most Black people simply just want to live to see the next day, especially considering systemic racism, ignorance and powertrip-happy people and trigger-happy police (let’s just be real and say what’s what). Check it all out above and support dope music in all its forms (and remember that a bit of positivity goes a long way).

Speed on the Beat

Whatever you need to know about me, you can find out on Dad of two, cat dad (of two), mental health advocate, Team Support Dope Music in All Its Forms.

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